Restaurants can capitalize on promotional opportunities to pair up with beer distributors, retailers, craft brewers and homebrewers taking part in the fourth annual American Craft Beer Week, May 17 to 23. The "Mother of All Beer Weeks" celebrates small and independent craft brewers and is the largest national event focusing on American craft brewers.

An American craft brewer is defined as small, independent and traditional. This means it has annual beer production of less than 2 million barrels, and that less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not a craft brewer.

Included in the 2010 American Craft Beer Week will be special brewery tours, beer and food pairing events, special release craft beers and other celebrations across the country. Participating breweries are encouraging beer enthusiasts to sign the Declaration of Beer Independence, an official document to support America's small and independent craft brewers, which is available on the American Craft Beer Week Web site and Facebook page. Both breweries and homebrewers will brew a special recipe called American Craft Beer Wheat to celebrate. For information about the different American Craft Beer Week events happening around the country, visit the events database.